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Lawn mower ruled not a motor vehicle by Georgia high court

Monday, November 30, 2009

A lawn mower is not considered a motor vehicle according to a state court.
A lawn mower is not considered a motor vehicle according to a state court.

People may have used lawn mowers to take care of their lawn. They may have even used them to transport people or supplies. However, according to the Georgia Supreme Court, they don't qualify as motor vehicles.

A recent report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution noted that the court ruled against counting lawn mowers as motor vehicles. At issue was the conviction of Franklin Lloyd Harris who, along with two others, stole a lawn mower.

Because of the state's laws regarding motor vehicle theft, and because Harris was a repeat offender, he was sentenced to 10 years for the crime. The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, threw out that sentence, though Harris will still be re-sentenced on a charge of "theft by taking."

"To be sure, a riding lawn mower is capable of transporting people or property and of driving the street for short stretches, but that is not what the machine is designed for or how it is normally used - there being little grass to mow on streets, and there being faster and less noisy ways of moving people and property around," Justice David Nahmias wrote in the majority opinion, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Though they may not be motor vehicles, people who own used lawn mowers still don't want them stolen. In order to avoid having their equipment taken, people need to make sure to secure it properly, which may include disabling the mower when it's not in use.
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